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The Power of Laughter with Sandra Stein


Sandra Joy Stein lives with her husband and son in New York. Her son spent the first two years of his life as a typical baby and toddler, but when he was almost 3 years old, he woke up one morning in a seizure and ended up in a hospital for the next fifteen months. Diagnosed with an autoimmune encephalitis, his rare disease caused catastrophic neurologic difficulties. He is now a lively nine year old with an indomitable spirit and a smile that lights up everyone around him. 

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In today's podcast, Sandra joins Elizabeth and Jason to discuss how humor -- having a sense of humor and using it -- is necessary for not just dealing with the day to day challenges of caregiving but also personal survival. Even though they have never met in person, Elizabeth and Sandra have a long history of amusing one another on even the hardest of days with telephone calls and colorful texts. Sandra believes firmly that humor keeps her sane and that finding humor in sometimes outrageously stressful situations is a coping mechanism that not only helps her as a caregiver but also those people in supportive positions.

Sandra is a systems thinker, a learning designer, a leadership developer, and a multi-genre writer. She has authored two books, a play, and several academic articles, personal essays, and poems. Her essays have been published in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Establishment. For Sandra, writing is survival and motherhood an extreme sport.

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Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorious

We ask everyone involved in our son's care and education to read this amazing memoir.

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My husband and my son